"Do what you love for those who love what you do."

Wood Working

Bolt Lock Pens

Pictured is a new pen I made today. This one goes to a friend who first discovered the parts were available. What I made was the wood barrel (turned on a mini lathe) and hand finished. Then I assembled the parts. An interesting thing with this pen is the kit maker shows every one of his pens with the bolt handle assembled 180 degrees rotated the wrong way. The bolt handle is pointing up. This reversed position is because it interferes slightly with the pocket clip when in the proper bolt action position that I prefer. My opinion is the clip is a minor concern and the pen is not a style a user is likely to clip in a shirt pocket. Many other makers also make this correction.

Here are other pens I made several weeks ago. There is a construction series in my other blog, The Hobbyist Workshop.

These pens are fun to make and there are endless possibilities of materials that can be used. For some people pen making is a full time occupation. Individual pens can sell for $30.00 to hundreds of dollars. Special sets and holders, far more than that.

I plan on making pens for as long as I can. I have two more bolt locks to make right now.

Cookie Dough Hand Stamps

This is a set of nine cookie dough stamps I made after seeing a how-to article at the Vectric Software website. I followed the directions almost exactly but I see many interesting ways to modify this project. All of the cut out was handled by CNC files on my HB2 router machine.

How these stamps were made and a look at all the faces visit this WEBSITE.

Brother’s Home

My brother Jim and his wife Patty live in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The rocks may be flat but the land certainly isn’t.

Jim built this house on the side of a mountain as you can see in this Lithophane. It’s almost brand new and in fact, in this picture it is. I thought it would be nice to make him a unique image of his new home. So here it is. It kind of has an old time heirloom look to it.

Mayan Calendar in Corian

I carved this Mayan Calendar in 1/4 inch thick Corian (brand) solid surface material. The diameter of the circle is 7-3/4 inches. The last picture was created within Vectric Aspire V2 to illustrate how the finished carving would look. I will say, no difference.

Tooling was a solid 1/4 inch  60 degree V-bit at 10, 600 RPM, feed was 50 IPM cut with 30 IPM plunge. Minimum Z depth was set to -0.20 inches but it looks like it didn’t get there. The material is 0.250 inches thick.  Cut time was 1 Hour 35 minutes. That’s the carving details for the fellow carvers out there.

It can be used for a wall hanging or perhaps as a table hot pad. Corian can’t take high heat but a hot dish would be fine.

The primary reason I made this piece was to display and test the accuracy of the HB2 carving machine I built. This is a smaller version of the first carving I made on this machine.  The HB2 machine is mostly a PDJ design, but I made changes and details (like the spindle and stepper heat sinks) to suit myself. A picture of my machine can be seen at the bottom of the PDJ home page.

Some of the calendar pictures are close duplicates, but I couldn’t decide which ones not to show. There is still some Corian material dust (the white looking deposits) in the carving and it takes a lot of work to clean it all out. The close up photography brings all those details out but it looks much better with normal hand viewing. The detail is fantastic as many of the surface lines drop right down into the deeper areas. A nice looking project.

The carving is only one part of a fully finished piece. The software design is a good sized part of the effort. The carving is interesting to watch but it is the amount of time in the detail finishing that would make this a piece of art. If this was a piece for sale, I would detail the finish, but time is money. This piece has a flaw, a little slip off the right edge — so in my book, this is as much time as I need to spend on this example.

Not quite perfect but I hope you like what you see. I love the detail.

Gemini Relief Carving

Shown here is a relief carving in a 4″ x 4″ bone color Corian tile that is 1/4″ thick. The subject is the Zodiac twins, Gemini.  The tile was cut with a 1/16″ rotary cutter. One pass would have been sufficient, but I ran a second pass 90 degrees to the first. The second pass did very little except clip a few ridges here and there.

This is the same material I use for Lithophanes. This is not a Lithophane but it can be back lighted for an interesting effect.

I spent some time with Adobe Lightroom to highlight the grain produced by the router tracks. These are not normally seen with the naked eye. The photo enlargement helps bring this detail out.

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